Now that customers are back into brick and mortar stores, more and more Italian merchants have been asking the same question: when will Shopify POS be available in Italy? Understandable request, if we think about the growing importance of an omnichannel approach and about the need of centrally managing online and in-store experiences and purchases. Well, Shopify promptly answered: Shopify POS is now available for Italian stores and fully compliant with the Italian fiscal law.
What do we refer to when we speak about POS?
POS is a payment terminal that allows merchants to accept credit card payments in store. Shopify POS has been on the market for long, but only this summer it has entered the Italian market at its fullest, approved by the Italian Tax Office and including all the software and hardware necessary to sell in physical stores. The news has been enthusiastically received, and creates new opportunities for Italian merchants in a scenario where online acquisition costs are skyrocketing and consumers expect a fluid purchase experience regardless of where they are buying or browsing.
Why is an omnichannel approach so important?
A well-structured architecture that centralizes online, offline and hybrid sales can be crucial in many different ways. It allows customers to experience a pleasant and easy-to-navigate customer journey, and merchants to optimize their infrastructure, inventory and internal processes. To build such an architecture it is important to choose the right tools, softwares and apps and make sure they’re compatible both with the Shopify Online Store and its Point Of Sale app.
Some concrete examples:
- It is important to have a loyalty program that allows customers to collect points, collect rewards and utilize discounts both online and offline.
- A centralized inventory management system can help sync and transfer stock from one location to another, optimize where the orders are shipped from and offer a choice between shipping and collecting your products in store. Forecasting tools can rely on both online and offline data, making predictions way more accurate.
- Unified reports allow way more in-depth analysis, and campaigns can be planned relying on more specific, richer data.
Shopify POS: how does it work?
To use Shopify POS you will need an app, downloadable on your iphone or ipad, and a hardware system Point Of Sale, recently approved and launched in Italy.
What tools will you need to use Shopify POS in store?
- A barcode scanner to identify the scanned product within the Shopify catalog
- A printer to print the receipts (Epson FP-81II or FP-90 III RT for the Italian market)
- A payment terminal to read cards and capture the payment (WisePad3 for the Italian market)
- An online device that can download the POS app
The implementation cost includes the shipping of the devices, the initial technical setup with the support of an expert, and one year of insurance cover.
Shopify has created a useful checklist to start using their POS, while at this link you can find more info about what hardware is available in Italy.
The in-store user experience is very simple: once the customer chooses the products or services they want to buy, such products will be scanned by the shop staff. The POS system will calculate the final price, including taxes or fees, and update the inventory. The customer will then be able to pay by credit card using the card reader. If the transaction is successful a fiscal receipt will be issued and given to the customer.
Shopify has two POS plans: the Lite and the Pro plan. The first one is included in all Shopify plans, while the second is included in the Shopify Plus plan only. For who isn’t on Shopify Plus, POS Pro has an additional cost for each location added. At this link Shopify provides a clear overview of costs and functionalities.
To wrap up: what are the main strengths of Shopify POS, and what stores are a better fit?
To conclude, there are several reasons that make Shopify POS a better choice compared to a third-party POS service, especially if your online store is already on Shopify:
- You can assign different authorizations to different staff members
- Using Shopify POS allows you to collect unified data across your different sales channel, giving access to more complete, in-depth reports)
- Overall, it broadens the opportunities to build an omnichannel strategy, from integrated loyalty programs to unified discounts and campaigns
- Thanks to Shopify POS you can have a full control over your stock, especially when it comes to predicting stock transfers and purchases
- Online and offline purchasing become intertwined, offering consumers the choice between shipping or collect in store and making returns easier and more manageable
Considering the current Shopify POS features, this solution is recommended for fashion brands, home and garden, sports, furniture and jewelry. It is still advised against hotels and restaurants, raw materials, highly customized or made-to-measure items and small supermarkets.
If you are considering using Shopify for your online store, you can subscribe here for a free trial or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org